Racing for Funsies

Since Boston, Elissa and I have both been taking it pretty easy on the running front. We ran a 9 miler last weekend… our longest since April 17. We’re both now shifting into high gear – Elissa is training for the Chicago Marathon, and my goals are set for the Fall Equinox Half Marathon. So it’s back to the Hal Higdon regiments for us.

I did run a couple of races for fun in the last month, which hopefully helped me retain some semblance of fitness. Below are the deets!

Colfax Marathon Relay

Most years, my work sends a few teams to run the Colfax Marathon Relay, in which you run an entire marathon split between five people. I ran the anchor leg for the relay two years ago and we won 4th in our division. My work reserves one team as the “elites” (the people with the most chance of placing). Since the race was only a few weeks after Boston, I said I could probably participate but not on the elite team. However, someone dropped out and I came out of the reserves.

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Government Elite bros.

I put my foot down at wanting a shorter leg though – I got the fourth leg, which is 4 miles with a gradual descent. I went to the start of the leg with no nerves or qualms, just ready to run a little faster than my usual training speed.

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Bringing a little unicorn luck with me

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Racing into the finish at Mile High

I felt good throughout my leg, and kept a consistent pace right at 7:30 min/mile. Our team didn’t place this year (thanks a lot firepeople, why are you so in shape), but it was a lot of fun and I would totally do it again. And hopefully get the same leg next time 🙂

I would also like to give a shoutout to the oldest running sister, Jessica, who did the first and longest leg on one of her law firm’s team. She did great, speeding up at the end, per her usual style.

Jessica and I also participated in another race together a few weeks later, which brings me to the second recap.

Into the Wild Running Festival

One of Jessica’s coworkers suggested she run the Into the Wild Running Festival at a wild animal sanctuary in Keenseburg, a small town out in the plains of Colorado. Once I saw the free shirts and hats, I couldn’t NOT do this race:

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I mean seriously. How amazing do we look?

We decided to both do the 10k option, but at our own paces. Race summary:

  • You run in the wildlife sanctuary, passing a lot of animals, some of which were more curious about the hordes of running humans than others. I saw a pride of lions, who pretty much couldn’t care less about us. I also saw several bears, and Jessica saw a wolf.
  • It was a warm day, but the race started early enough that the heat wasn’t too much of a factor. At least until the end. There’s really no shade on the course, and the sun was beating down with a vengeance.
  • The race was entirely on dirt trails. This was a blessing and a curse – it’s easier on your leg muscles, but some parts had pretty loose gravel, making it more difficult to run.
  • The whole event was well organized and featured lots of free food (like real food – breakfast burritos, fruit cups, etc.) and every runner got a medal.
  • You get free admission onto Mile into the Wild walkway, which is a walkway above the animal enclosures, so you can see the animals going about their business without disrupting them. Jessica and I walked most of the walkway afterwards and saw lots of cool beasts, including this lazyman:
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This guy was new and not yet ready to be in a pride

I would definitely recommend this race if you live in the area. Oh yeah, and I won a trophy!

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Look at that purple gem

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Too Cool and No Neck posing after the race

I’ve enjoyed my leisure time of running and racing when I want. But I’m ready to hit the pavement for my goal race – there’s nothing like the allure of a PR to get you motivated.

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